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Monday, October 24, 2016

Daily Devotion for September 25, 2010

<i>Christ of Saint John of the Cross (detail)</i> by Salvador Dali, ca. 1951.
Christ of Saint John of the Cross (detail) by Salvador Dali, ca. 1951.



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Lord's Prayer

Our Father, who art in heaven, hallowed be thy name. Thy kingdom come; Thy will be done, on earth as it is in heaven. Give us this day our daily bread, and forgive us our trespasses, as we forgive those who trespass against us. And lead us not into temptation, but deliver us from evil.

For Thine is the kingdom, and the power, and the glory, forever and ever.


Prayer for This Day

Heavenly Father, let me do my work this day; and if the darkened hours of despair overcome me, may I not forget the strength that comforted me in the desolation of other times. May I still remember the bright hours that found me walking over the silent hills of my childhood, or dreaming on the margin of a quiet river, when a light glowed within me, and I promised my early God to have courage amid the tempests of the changing years.

Spare me from bitterness and from the sharp passions of unguarded moments. May I not forget that poverty and riches are of the spirit. Though the world knows me not, may my thoughts and actions be such as shall keep me friendly with myself.

Lift up my eyes from the earth, and let me not forget the uses of the stars. Forbid that I should judge others lest I condemn myself. Let me not follow the clamor of the world, but walk calmly in my path.

Give me a few friends who will love me for what I am; and keep ever burning before my vagrant steps the kindly light of hope.

And though age and infirmity overtake me, and I come not within sight of the castle of my dreams, teach me still to be thankful for life, and for time's olden memories that are good and sweet; and may the evening's twilight find me gentle still.


Holy Spirit, dove with flame

Prayer For the Damned

Dear Holy God, I remember today all those who spend their lives denoucing Christ; the sarcastic atheists who make fun of believers; the people whose careers are built on trying to discredit your Word; and all those who follow false, dead-end religions. Help me to expunge any anger I may feel when attacked by such people, or when I hear their misguided words. Let your Spirit be strong in me, to educate my tongue, if I am called upon to respond to one of them; and let me always answer in love and serenity.

Most of all, heavenly Father, forgive them; if it be Your will, bring the light of your salvation to them, heal them of their bitterness and self-absorption, that any and all of them might find the beauty of life in Christ, and be torn away from the clutches of Satan. In the name of your Son, our Lord Jesus Christ,



[How might I not become angry when I hear sarcastic, anti-Christian speech?]


Holy God, I pray to be filled with your Holy Spirit for the rest of this day. Let me go forth, walking with your Spirit in my heart, that I may be filled with the joy and energy and praise for your entire creation, thankful in the many gifts you have given me, and showing forth your light in my every word and deed. This I pray in Christ's name,


(Additional prayers may be found at Prayers for All Occasions.)
God be with you 'til we meet again.

endless knot

Proverbs 3:5-8 (NASB)

Trust in the Lord with all your heart
And do not lean on your own understanding.
In all your ways acknowledge Him,
And He will make your paths straight.

Do not be wise in your own eyes;
Fear the Lord and turn away from evil.
It will be healing to your body
And refreshment to your bones.

Blue Latin Cross

Galatians 1:11-12 (DP Bible)

The Source of the Gospel (Galatians #6)

11-12 Do you think human beings wrote the Gospel I taught to you? Not so! It is the very Word of God, revealed to me directly by Jesus Christ. From men, I have learned none of it.

Verbatim Bible

11 For I make known to you, brothers, the gospel having-been-preached by me that not is from men;

12 for neither I from man received it, nor I was taught, but through revelation of Jesus Christ.

DP Parallel Bible (3-Column) - Galatians 1

Notes on the Scripture

These verses strongly reinforce the preceding verses, i.e., that Paul did not seek to please men by modifying his Gospel, but sought to please God by always speaking the truth. Here, then, he gives the reason underlying and supporting his refusal to compromise his teachings.

What has been written by one person can always be criticized, improved upon, disputed, or ignored by another. What has been revealed as the will of God cannot. And so Paul cements his position by this, the topic of the rest of Chapter 1 of Galatians: evidence that the Gospel he teaches was not written by him, nor taught to him by men, but revealed to him directly by Christ.

There is a nice point to be taken from the original Greek that we overlook in translation. When we read a translation we think, “This means that Jesus revealed the Gospel to Paul.” But the Greek is more obviously ambiguous. The same phrase can just as easily be translated “through Jesus Christ being revealed to me.” The English can, actually, also be read like this: “the revelation of Christ” could refer to either Christ being revealed, or to Christ revealing something. If you are not following this, think of the phrase “the revelation of the resurrected Christ to the disciples” meaning “the appearance of the resurrected Christ to the disciples.”


n the road to Damascus — and if you are not familiar with it, please read the account of Paul's conversion in Acts 9:1-19, because you will need to know this to understand Galatians — when Paul was converted, he experienced Christ. He did not see a human Jesus, but a flash of light and a voice; still, this was a “theophany”, a physical appearance of God to a human being. Paul “saw” Christ, in the figurative sense, and heard Him in the literal.

Thus, v. 11 says two things at once. Christ was revealed to Paul; and Christ revealed to Paul what He wanted Paul to teach. Greek uses fewer words than English to say the same thing, and this is one of the tricks that makes it possible.

There are 138,000 words in the Greek New Testament and 180,000 in the KJV, but this does not tell the whole story. The Greek original did not have punctuation, and so there are tens of thousands of Greeks words needed for technical purposes, mostly conjunctions (almost every verse in the Greek Bible contains a conjunction of some sort) and the definite article (“the”) used only to indicate the case or function of the following word. These are not generally translated as English words, but as periods and paragraphs, or a change in word order. So the density of Greek is perhaps 50% higher than English.

<i>The Miseries of the Earth Which Transform in Hope by Rising Towards Heaven</i> by Ary Scheffer, ca. 1858
The Miseries of the Earth Which Transform in Hope by Rising Towards Heaven by Ary Scheffer, ca. 1858 (just before he died).

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Philippians 2:5-7: Christ Jesus, though he was in the form of God, did not count equality with God a thing to be grasped, but emptied himself, by taking the form of a servant, being born in the likeness of men. And being found in human form, he humbled himself by becoming obedient to the point of death, even death on a cross.

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“The mind of God is greater than all the minds of men, so let all men leave the gospel just as God has delivered it unto us.” ~ Charles Haddon Spurgeon